Platina bridges returns to haunt highway officials

The so-called platina bridge over the Río Virilla is continuing to frustrate officials.

The bridge deck is deteriorating, and the public works ministry is expected to have a detailed report on the span starting in the middle of July.

This is the famous or infamous bridge over the Río Virilla on the General Cañas highway. The bridge is so flexible that any concrete on the bridge deck cracks easily. The situation is so frustrating that a former minster announced that a new bridge would be constructed parallel to the offending span. That plan may be shelved. The highway connects San José with Juan Santamaría airport, Alajuela and points west.

The current minister Luis Llach Cordero said his agency, the Ministerio de Obras Pública y Transportes, is awaiting the engineering report that was ordered by the previous minister.

Workers have been trying to fix the bridge three times this year. This is the same span that once caused officials to close down the highway to rebuild completely certain components.

Problems started three years ago when a plate on an expansion joint simply would not lay flat. That is where the name platina originated. The situation was a joke for awhile. El Diario Extra even sent scantily clad models to the site to pose as workmen for photographers. The humor evaporated when a highway official died when a Canadian motorist failed to see him during one of those night repairs.

Engineers say that the four-lane bridge is just not stiff enough to support the concrete and flexed under the weight of traffic. The bridge is back in the news because television stations have been reporting on the deterioration of the deck again.

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.